A Definitive Ranking of Ear Piercings, From Least to Most Painful

We don't know about you, but when we're considering an ear piercing, one of our first concerns is how painful it's going to be.

Whether it's your first piercing or your 10th, it can be tough to anticipate just how much it'll hurt—especially if it's a type of piercing you've never gotten before. That's why we think pain tolerance should be a big consideration when you're eyeing all of the cute jewelry at the piercing shop.

So, if you're looking for the perfect piercing for you, based on how much pain you can handle, scroll down for our ranking of ear piercings (from least to most painful) to discover the one for you.

10. Lobe Piercing

The love is that soft, fleshy part at the bottom of your ear, and lobe piercings tend to be the most traditional type of ear piercing. Due to the lobe's placement, getting it pierced tends to be pretty low on the pain meter. You're not likely to feel more than a little sting. These piercings also heal quickly, after about six weeks, and once healed, you can change out your earrings as often as you like for endless possibilities.


Also read about: Everything You Need to Know About Lobe Piercings


9. Orbital Piercing

An orbital piercing is when two holes are pierced into the ear and then connected with a hoop. They're most often located on the earlobe, making them great for those with a lower pain threshold, as well as enabling them to heal quickly. That makes it precisely twice as painful as a regular lobe piercing—which still isn't bad at all!


Also read about: Everything You Need to Know About Orbital Piercings


8. Daith Piercing

Daith piercings are growing increasingly popular, and while this piercing may look painful, it's not all that bad. This piercing goes through the innermost cartilage of the ear, and while it will hurt, it's nothing intolerable. However, this piercing does take a while to heal, with the healing period lasting three to six months depending on how well you take care of the piercing.


Also read about: Everything You Need to Know About Daith Piercings


7. Helix Piercing

The helix piercing is performed on the upper rim of the ear. It's often referred to as the cartilage piercing, and while it does hurt a bit, it's not quite as painful as other cartilage piercings. You'll feel some pain in the moment, but it'll go away pretty quickly. This, too, has a long healing time, typically taking about three months.

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Also read about: Everything You Need to Know About Helix Piercings


6. Flat Piercing

The flat piercing is another cartilage piercing that goes through the flat section of skin between your ear canal and cartilage. We love the way this piercing allows for showing off dainty studs, but keep in mind that it is quite painful to pierce this cartilage due to how thick it is. It can take anywhere from three to 10 months to heal completely, so think it over before you commit to this piercing.


Also read about:  Everything You Should Know About Ear Piercings 


5. Tragus Piercing

The tragus is the tiny piece of cartilage on the outside of your ear canal, where your ear meets your face. Because it's a very thick piece of cartilage, you'll likely feel discomfort both during and after this piercing—but luckily, it doesn't linger too long. This piercing can also take up to eight months to heal completely and shouldn't be gotten on impulse.

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Also read about: Everything You Need to Know About Tragus Piercings


4. Rook Piercing

The rook piercing goes through the folded part of the upper inside of your ear, and is definitely on the more painful side. You'll likely feel a sharp pressure while getting it done, and even shortly after. It also takes up to 10 months to completely heal, so if you're not willing to give it the care and attention it needs to heal during that time, avoid at all costs.


Also read about: Everything You Need to Know About Rook Piercings


3. Snug Piercing

The snug piercing is located in the middle of the outer rim of the ear, piercing both the inner and outer parts of the ear. Because it goes through a thicker area of cartilage, you'll feel a sharp, intense pressure getting it done. You'll also want to avoid sleeping on it during the six-month healing process, so this one isn't great for restless sleepers who toss and turn.

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Also read about: Everything You Need to Know About Snug Piercings


2. Conch Piercing

The conch piercing goes straight through the inner shell (or conch) of your ear, which is another very thick piece of cartilage. While you'll experience a lot of pressure and pain during the process, it'll go away relatively quickly after it's done. Once again, this piercing has a lengthy healing process, lasting anywhere from three to nine months.


Also read about: Everything You Need to Know About Conch Piercings


1. Industrial Piercing

Last, but certainly not least, the industrial piercing is by far the most painful of the various ear piercings. This is because it's not just one, but two piercings in two different parts of thick, sensitive cartilage. If you don't handle pain well, this is not the piercing for you. The healing time for this piercing is about nine months, depending on how well you take care of it.


Also read about: Everything You Need to Know About Industrial Piercings


And if you're still seeking some guidance on what types of piercings you should get, click HERE for the right piercing for you based on your zodiac sign, and HERE to find out what your existing piercings reveal about your personality.